- In the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic, 46% of small-to-midsize businesses plan to defer or cut their investments in software, according to data from software insights company GetApp. The company drew the number from a survey of 5,500 professionals between March 25 and April 5.
- Another 32% say the current economic landscape will have no impact on their projected software spend, while 21% plan to increase their software budget.
- As they shift to remote work, 76% of respondents said communication tools became critical during the pandemic.
In a period of economic contraction the ideal business strategy isn't to slash tech investments but to take advantage of the slowdown to improve systems with less disruption and increase efficiency.
At the enterprise level, 53% of CFOs with plans to defer or cancel investments in the wake of the pandemic say they'll specifically aim to shrink IT investments, with another 25% targeting cuts in digital transformation, according to a survey from PwC.
As they navigate shrinking revenues and economic turmoil, almost half of small businesses are prepared to shift their short-term focus away from broader software spend, an effect of the pandemic that vendors are closely watching.
The SMBs upping software spend or keeping it at pre-pandemic levels rely on technology to sustain critical operations. In mid-March, four in 10 employees said their companies weren't equipped with tech to let them work remotely.
"Many business owners I've been talking to see technology in general and software in particular as key investment areas to recover from COVID-19," said Thibaut De Lataillade, global VP of GetApp, in an email to CIO Dive.
Upping investments in an economic downturn might seem counterintuitive, said De Lataillade, but the experience of the Great Recession makes the case for investing. "It's a good moment to reassess how software can increase our productivity and help us do more with less."
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect Thibaut De Lataillade is the global VP for GetApp.